This article originally appeared on Live in the Now.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is well known as a critical compound required by the body to facilitate normal breakdown of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) within each cell into energy we need for metabolism and life itself. It should come as no surprise that this vital natural enzyme complex may hold the key to prevention and reversal of many potentially life-threatening forms of cardiovascular disease.
Several research studies reveal that CoQ10 works at a cellular level to protect delicate DNA and reduce dangerous inflammatory levels that are closely linked to heart disease. Further evidence exists to explain how the coenzyme improves blood flow to the heart muscle and enhances vascular elasticity to prevent arterial stiffening, commonly referred to as “hardening of the arteries.” Scientists have also found that CoQ10 lowers unhealthy levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol by modulating gene signals involved with cholesterol metabolism.
In a study published in the journal Age, researchers from Spain found that supplementing CoQ10 while consuming a healthy Mediterranean diet lowered markers of DNA damage within cells and reduced systemic inflammation. The net effect of this human study was a dramatic reduction in biological markers associated with cardiovascular disease.
CoQ10 Reduces Inflammation to Improve Heart Health
The study was conducted by placing twenty participants, aged 65 or older, on three different diets for four weeks each: a Western diet, a Mediterranean diet, or a Mediterranean diet with 200 mg of Q10. The group taking the Mediterranean diet experienced moderately lowered levels of DNA stress, largely due to the anti-inflammatory effect of a diet high in monounsaturated fats in the form of olive oil.
The group that included CoQ10 had a marked decline in all metabolic markers known to promote DNA damage and a decline in cardiovascular health. The study authors concluded that the Mediterranean diet plus CoQ10 “improves oxidative DNA damage in elderly subjects and reduces processes of cellular oxidation. Our results suggest a starting point for the prevention of oxidative processes associated with aging.”
CoQ10 Curbs the Hardening of Arteries
A Chinese research team published in the journal Atherosclerosis examined the effect of CoQ10 on the delicate endothelial lining of the coronary arteries. Endothelial dysfunction is known to be a progenitor to heart disease and heart attack. The scientists demonstrated that individuals placed on CoQ10 (300 mg per day for 12 weeks) showed marked improvement in arterial stiffness due to increased blood flow and improved cellular energy within their endothelial cells.